Chris Spedding

Enemy Within

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Known mostly for his session work, guitarist Chris Spedding's Enemy Within release contains enough fragments of mild rockabilly, pop, and traditional rock & roll to keep it afloat. Sounding an awful lot like Mark Knopfler, Spedding fails to unleash any real surprises, as songs like "Signs of Love," "Enemy Within," and "Hi-Heel Shoes" are straight-ahead little rock & rollers with an abundance of catchy licks and recognizable rhythms. Many of the songs employ an echo effect to Spedding's voice which does become a bit trite, but his playing more than makes up for it, and his guitar does become the main focus throughout the 12 cuts. Once in a while, Carter Cathcart's keyboards join Spedding's indulgent riffs to create a wee bit of differentiation and lean toward an '80s sound, while drummer Anton Fig is consistent as always behind the kit. Even his renditions of "Shakin' All Over" and Ronnie Hawkins' "Mary Lou," in which Spedding openly struts his talent, are admissible, and the dreariness of "Go West" is really the only cut that sounds out of place. There's nothing on Enemy Within that matches the amiability of his biggest hit, "Motorbikin," and he isn't as colorful as he was on Roy Harper's HQ album, but nearly every track displays relevant amounts of Spedding's own guitar "oomph" in one way or another.

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